The act of eating the placenta after you give birth, called placentophagy, isn't just something animals do. Human moms do it, too, including tribal women and glamorous celebrities.
While some claim that placentophagy can prevent postpartum depression; reduce postpartum bleeding; improve mood, energy and milk supply; and provide important micronutrients, such as iron, there's no evidence that eating the placenta provides health benefits. Placentophagy can be harmful to you and your baby.
Why do people eat placenta? Typically, women eat their placenta after delivery to reap potential benefits, such as a quicker recovery from birth. The practice is called placentophagy and, according to one study, 25 percent of women would be willing to try it.
Almost every animal on the planet which produces a placenta eats it after birth. There are only a few exceptions to this rule – aquatic animals, camels, and humans.
Some people who have eaten placenta say that it's kind of chewy and tastes like liver or beef. Others say that it has an iron taste. If that sounds unpleasant, and you want to try placenta, you might want to consider combining it with other foods or cooking it.
Do Hospitals Keep Placentas? Hospitals treat placentas as medical waste or biohazard material. The newborn placenta is placed in a biohazard bag for storage. Some hospitals keep the placenta for a period of time in case the need arises to send it to pathology for further analysis.
They're not the only ones who've openly sung the praises of placentophagy. Model Chrissy Teigen and actresses Katherine Heigl and Mayim Bialik have also opened up about eating their placenta, claiming that it improved their energy and mood and helped with their postnatal recovery.
While there is a maternal component, placental tissue is mainly derived from the fertilized egg and carries the fetus's genome. So technically, wouldn't eating the placenta fit the definition of cannibalism: eating the flesh of another individual of your own species?
But placentophagy -- the practice of eating one's placenta after birth -- is relatively common in China, where it is thought to have anti-ageing properties, and dates back more than 2,000 years.
Preparing the placenta for consumption by mothers is considered traditional among Vietnamese and Chinese people. The Chinese believe a nursing mother should boil the placenta, make a broth, then drink it to improve her milk.
The Hmong people of South Asia believe that a person has a spiritual connection with his or her placenta throughout life.
Vegans avoid the exploitation of animals. Placentas belong to the person who has given birth and it is up to them what they do with it,” explains the mum-of-three. “Preparing a placenta for a client in my opinion is vegan as there is no exploitation.
The authors themselves, however, state that "exceedingly little research has been conducted to assess these claims and no systematic analysis has been performed to evaluate the experiences of women who engage in this behavior." In the United States as many as 30% of women who planned community births may consume the ...
The placenta does not, technically, belong to the mother.
Our bodies may create it, but it is part of the developing child, which means it is also made up of 50 percent genetic material from the father.
The most common way to eat your placenta — and the easiest to swallow — is in pill form. In a process called placenta encapsulation, your placenta is dried, powdered and sealed into vitamin-sized capsules. Numerous companies will do it for you, but it comes at a price.
You'll push the placenta out once it has separated and moved down to your vagina. It's mostly used if you're at low risk of heavy blood loss. You can change to active management at any time if needed.
In most cases it is fine to take your placenta home for burial or consumption as long as you follow the basic health and safety precautions that are explained below. There are no laws or guidelines regarding the consumption of your placenta but there are precautions you can take to protect for your health and safety.
In most cases, as long as you start your discussion long before baby arrives and make arrangements for safe passage, it can be yours. "It is your placenta, you should be able to do with it as you choose, in a safe way," Otunla says.
The hospital still does retain the right to keep a portion of the placenta for any testing, if necessary , but provided that a mother fills out a Content to Release Placenta form requesting the placenta, and then tests negative for certain infectious diseases, she's free to take it with her upon discharging from the ...
Regular Placenta Handling
If you would like to take your placenta home you must ask your doctor or midwife and they will talk with you about the risks of taking your placenta home. You must sign a “Release of Placenta” form to show you understand the risks and give it to your doctor or midwife.
If you eat it "fresh" or raw, it might spread infection. Even processing your placenta by putting it in capsules might spoil it with bacteria or viruses. Some hospitals may not allow you to take it or eat it.
Humans aren't the only species that eat their placentas. In fact, nearly all mammals do. In rats, placentophagy spurs moms to start taking care of their pups and relieves birthing pain; both amniotic fluid and placentas contain a factor that acts as a morphine-related analgesic.
Many people assume that placentophagy, or eating one's own placenta after birth has historically been a traditional human practice. However, based on extensive investigation looking at cultures around the world, researchers have found absolutely no evidence of women eating their placenta in a cultural tradition.
The Roman Catholic church forbids contraceptive use because it is a sin against nature. Some Protestant denominations have allowed contraceptive use.